sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


My mom grew up poor, raised by a stepfamily who really couldn't give any shakes for her or my blood uncle. Consequently, she had to procure what I consider necessities for herself starting at a too-young age-- clothing, shoes, books, toiletries. There's a story my sister and I were told from that time... how mom worked and saved an entire summer for a snow white sweater for the coming school year, and how someone else in the household bundled it into the wash, ruining it before it was ever worn.

I can't say I really understand, sis and I were raised wanting nothing til the end. I can understand the resonance of destruction of work though, in a small way... cos mom keeps felting the hats I make her. Now they don't take me a summer and aren't even something I consider work and to be really honest I don't see them as 'same'... but as much as I love her am constantly amazed at how nonchalantly she tells me that she has another hat for my son since she's passed one of my handknits thru the wash and it won't fit her anymore.

I should have started ages ago but it's superwash all the time for mom now. She had a birthday and I promised to replace all the hats she's felted this year (3? 4?), starting with the now-felted Malabrigo Koolhaas.

Koolhaas hat by Jared Flood
Started and finished: two days in August
Elann Superwash Worsted in Espresso, 1.5 skeins
US 7, 16" Addi Natura

At least I really enjoy knitting Koolhaas. I know that it fits lots of heads (it fits my son's in width but not depth, I'm going to make him one with only 3 repeats and it'll be perfect if a little loose), is easy to read when knitting away from the pattern, and is interesting to knit. I don't know if she'll get 4 Koolhaas hats in different colors... maybe :)

She was kind enough to model the wrap I wove for my sister (ages ago!) who shares a birthday month with mom...

Warp: Tactile Fiber Arts Superwash Merino/tencel sock yarn, "orchid"
Weft: Hand Jive Knits Nature's Palette superwash merino sock yarn, "odd duck 5"
woven on my Schacht Flip

The colors look as if they were made for one another, even from different dyers. I sought out machine washable for sis as well-- I wanted her to be able to use this as a nursing wrap if she wanted and know all too well how those can get messy. My Malabrigo Clapotis I used for a nursing coverup had to be washed much more than any other handknit I've made save socks :)

I also dig that both warp and weft are naturally dyed-- I have no idea if it will appeal to sis but it sure does to me.



So does the sheen of the tencel... I usually don't like tencel blends in sock yarns, too shiny and drape-y for my taste. Here as weft though it's really interesting against the more matte merino warp, and gives it a nice fall when worn. The wrap's one of those things you hope gets worn outside in daylight, but we don't have much control over these things once out of our possession... and I'm starting to accept that.

I double-threaded the warp edges...

(lower left corner)

...two strands on the beginning and end. I don't know if it makes it more stable, but at least it can't hurt :)

I also used simple overhand knots on the edging, but only 2 strands instead of my usual four.


I had planned to use one of the MANY beautiful warp edgings from Interweave's Compendium of Finishing Techniques, but decided against it since this was a gift and may have been too much for my non-knitting, non-weaving sister (who actually is always quite appreciative of fiber gifts, but there can be a taste/technique disconnect between fiber and non-fiber people...) I like how small the two-strand knots are, and the contrast between the color of pure warp fringe against the woven fabric.

One surprise was how little weft I used... I used the entire skein of Tactile's sw merino/tencel (412 yards) but only 222 (of 370) yards of Nature's Palette superwash merino.


No matter, the 40 grams will make a sweet cap for baby or maybe a tiny pair of socks for my bigfoot boy.

I also don't know quite what this will spin into, probably something for the holidays for sis since the colors match her wrap so well.

Tactile Fiber Arts Luxury Fiber Club, July 2009
15.5 micron merino, 2 oz
featured dye: logwood purple

I was lucky enough along with Adrienne to win a 3-month subscription to Tactile's fiber club thru PhatFiber (yes, that little box that causes so much fiber furor!) So nice! What to make is the question though-- socal's not really wrap yourself in wool weather. Maybe incorporate the leftover Nature's Palette in as well...

Oy! Am I talking about holiday knitting already?! :)

Til then, at least after weds. Miss you.


micah said...

I pulled my beloved silk-knit-lined Koolhas hat out of the washer last week! I almost cried.

Guess I'll just have to get tough and make another one.

Kristine said...

A, you are such an amazing weaver. You should hear our customer's ooos' and ahh's I get over the mushroom dyed, handspun, hand woven scarf in the store. Like bees to honey.

jlr said...

I've already started my holiday knitting. Cast on two projects already, and almost finished the first. I WILL get an early start this year, and actually do what I want to do, and enjoy it.

adrienne said...

Wow, gorgeous wrap! I wish I were more interested in weaving - but I've been working on the same scarf for months.

The Koolhaas is also lovely, and something I really must knit one day.

(and yes, the Tactile fibre is so gorgeous. I don't even know what to do with it. I still feel so lucky!!)

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